2018 - Competition Entry
The new Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas will serve as an anchor for the local community and a place of sanctuary for the vulnerable. The facility is designed to exude a warmth and tranquility that welcomes refugee families who recently arrived in the United States. The architecture is built primarily with rammed earth, a local and sustainable material that is reminiscent of adobe – mudbrick – that was used by the indigenous peoples of the region and for many of the original Catholic missions. It is a robust and beautiful material that may lend a sense of familiarity and comfort to the refugee families as they transition to this country.
When families arrive at the Humanitarian Respite Center, they will be greeted by a reflecting pool that runs along a protected arcade. The refugees will walk through arches next to the reflecting pool as they approach the building entrance. They can pause to sit on the benches here for moments of quiet contemplation as the dappled surface of the pool reflects light onto the vaulted ceiling of the arcade.
The layout of the building is centered around the large Multipurpose room. This space will be the center of activity and congregation for both the community and refugees, and as such, has skylights and a high ceiling to create a sense of openness. The space has views to gardens on both sides – a children’s recreation area and a tranquil garden with native landscaping.
2018 - Competition Entry
In Collaboration with Odeto.A
The Seoul Education Hub is envisioned as a place of congregation, a place where ideas will incubate, and a place of leisure, arts and abundant educational opportunities.
The ground plane of the building – the most public and accessible – is envisioned as a porous sponge, allowing visitors, employees and the community to enter the site from three sides. The three entrances come together at a central atrium - a large, open and naturally daylit space. This atrium will serve as a flex space that will be used as an exhibition hall, a performance space, a public forum and more.
The building is nominally split into three wings – the office, the education hub and the civil service center, each with its own circulation and organization. However, at Level 2, the program blends to create an area of collaboration, and where the resources and amenities of each department can be shared - the restaurants, the convenience store, the fitness center and the Smart Work Zone.
The building has a horizontal archtiectural expression. At the upper levels, the office is composed of half-vault precast concrete bands. These concrete bands are a minimalist interpretation of the overhang canopies found on traditional Korean Hanok houses.
The podium is a monolithic, cast-in-place concrete base. From the outside it has a secure and firm presence, but once inside, the building opens up into an airy and light filled atrium.